News Release: From the Office of Commissioner Justin Olson

  For Immediate Release | 4-10-19      
  Media Contact | Holly Ward      
  Direct | 602-542-3847      
  E-Mail | hward@azcc.gov      
         
 

Commissioner Olson Files Dissent Letter in EPCOR Interim Rate Case

 
 
PHOENIX - Arizona Corporation Commissioner Justin Olson filed a letter Tuesday in opposition to the Commission's approval of an interim rate case for the largest water company in Arizona, EPCOR Water Arizona, Inc.

"I respectfully dissent. I am disappointed with both the procedure that resulted in interim rates in this case and the Commission's failure to address important ratemaking principles that were raised in the 17-0257 case," wrote Commissioner Olson.

EPCOR Water Arizona, Inc. filed an interim rate application with the Corporation Commission on January 31, 2019. The application followed the Commission's 2-2 vote rejection of a proposed ruling on the company's application for a rate increase and possible consolidation of water districts. Commissioners then voted 3-2 in favor of the interim rate case in March with Commissioners Andy Tobin and Justin Olson voting against both the proposed rate increase in January and the successful increase recently approved.

"In my mind, this was an abuse of our process," wrote Olson. "The Commission should not have moved the case into the interim rates process."

EPCOR is a subsidiary of EPCOR Water USA and ultimately of EPCOR Utilities, Inc., which is headquartered in Canada and has the City of Edmonton, Alberta as its sole shareholder. EPCOR operates 19 public water systems in 11 separate water districts, serving approximately 133,000 water connections. The water districts are the Agua Fria District, the Anthem District, the Chaparral District, the Havasu District, the Mohave District, the North Mohave District, the Paradise Valley District, the Sun City District, the Sun City West District, the Tubac District, and the Willow Valley District.

Commissioner Olson said in his letter filed April 9, 2019, "Because the Commission failed to pass my amendment to limit the post-test-year plant to a just and reasonable policy, EPCOR customers will see a significant and inappropriate increase in rates."

"In my view, this increase was not just and reasonable," Olson wrote. He continued, "I am disappointed that the Commission was not able to address the revenue requirement in a principled way that could have avoided the rate shock that many customers will experience as a result of this case.

Read Commissioner Olson's entire letter here: https://docket.images.azcc.gov/0000197187.pdf.

All documents related to this matter can be found in the Corporation Commission's online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number WS-01303A-19-0011.
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About Commissioner Justin Olson

Justin Olson was appointed to the Arizona Corporation Commission in October 2017. Commissioner Olson began his public service in the Arizona State House of Representatives where he served from 2011 to 2017. During his tenure in the State Legislature, Commissioner Olson chaired the House Appropriations Committee and the Federalism and Fiscal Responsibility Committee. In addition to his public service, Commissioner Olson has extensive experience in the private sector where he has worked as a research analyst and a tax manager. Commissioner Olson currently chairs the Commission's Tax, Accounting and Finance Committee. Commissioner Olson led the Commission's efforts to reduce utility rates to account for savings realized by the 2017 Federal Tax Reform.

The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state's constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The Corporation Commission is Arizona's co-equal, fourth branch of government. The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit https://www.azcc.gov.